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N.A.N.Y. 2019 / NANY 2019 Final Round-up of All Entries!
« on: January 05, 2019, 08:03 PM »

Since 2007 we have held an annual event that we call NANY (New Apps for the New Year), where we ask the coders who hang out on DonationCoder to create some new piece of free software and share it with the world on January 1st of the new year.

NANY is really the funnest thing we do on this site, and it's one of the few times we can all play together.  There are no winners or losers, it's simply a celebration of programming and creating new software and sharing it with the world.  You can target any operating system (desktop or mobile) or even make a web-based tool.  It can be a game, utility, large application, whatever.  DC takes makes no claim on your software, it's just an event to encourage you to share a creation with others.  Best of all, everyone who participates gets a free commemorative coffee mug.

Thank you everyone who participated for a wonderful event!!! We had some really interesting entries this year.  Some of the entries are polished professional caliber apps, and many are just hobby creations.  Read on for the full list..

A very flexible tool for MS Windows that allows (mass) editing of shortcuts (.lnk or .url files), with ability to do search and replace, and flexible mass editing.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46985.0
Author: Skwire

Simple tool for MS Windows that lets you extract matching regular expression patterns from multiple files, with list of favorites and patterns to ignore.. Extracting email addresses was motivational use case.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=45497.0
Author: mouser

Process Watcher
A bare bones minimal utility for MS Windows that watches and remembers and logs new and changed processes found running on your pc.  So you will easily be able to see a log of when a program has run for the first time or has been updated.  More features to be added soon.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46631.0
Author: mouser

Fasting Schedule
Android app that lets you define a custom schedule of eating and fasting time windows and can remind you when each is opening and closing.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46721.0
Author: mouser

Streak Tracker
A flexible Android application to help you track how long you can keep different streaks going.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46587.0
Author: mouser

Point Motivator
An Android application that lets you keep track of your score, earning points for activities that you configure yourself.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46586.0
Author: mouser

Rating List DC
A simple Android application that lets you keep a list (organized into tabs) of items that you can assign ratings to (from 1-5).
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46588.0
Author: mouser

MS Windows application for monitor network traffic and scanning networks.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46074.0
Author: hugo Nabais

Tool for MS Windows that provides a nicely organized context menu of text manipulation routines (change case, search+replace, etc.) that can be used on text in other applications.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46970.0
Author: BGM

Current Printer
Small tool for MS Windows that lives in the system tray and shows the default set printer on hover, as well as other connected printers when clicked.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46455.0
Author: c. gingerich

Open source portable application launcher that uses PortableApps data files to help you launch your portable applications.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46075.0
Author: c.gingerich

Background tool for MS Windows which lets you tap Escape key twice to close the current window or tab.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46749.0
Auhtor: c. gingerich

AHK Script Center
MS Windows utility to help you managing and run a collection of AHK (scripting tool) scripts.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46944.0
Author: mat2016

Process Started
A tool for MS Windows that displays and continuously updates a window of recently executed processes.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46978.0
Author: anandcoral

GUI tool for MS Windows to calculate text-similarity metrics between two snippets of text.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46653.0
Author: Ath

Early release of a tool for MS Windows that provides a GUI front end for FFMPG (video processor) filters.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46986.0
Author: worstje

Shorthand 3_2
An open source GUI tool for MS Windows that uses the Everything search engine API to provide a nice way to search for files.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46878.0
Author: Maestr0

Mass JSON Viewer
GUI tool for MS Windows that lets you easily view, browse, validate, etc. a large directory of json files.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46976.0
Author: wraith808

A languages learning helper tool for MS Windows that helps you keep notes on translated segments of audio files.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46583.0
Author: Stephen66515

Explorer List
Small MS Windows utility to help you jump to your favorite directories in Microsoft File Explorer.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46846.0
Author: limelect

Simple non-gui tool to turn off the current monitor and exit.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46783.0
Author: SwanKnight

Web based (javascript/html) tool to help you solve substitution ciphers (where each letter is swapped for another).
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46981.0
Author: jroman

GTK Application for Linux/mac that plays music through the mpd service
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46514.0
Author: Sjc1000

Commandline tool (open source with binary for MS Windows) to rename files using regular expressions.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=45923.0
Author: Tuxman

reddit Whisky expose
Racket language based tool to help you write whiskey liquor reviews on reddit (how's that for a niche application?)
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46809.0
Author: Tuxman

Open source C library for coders that can validate e-mail addresses according to RFC 6531 with a fallback to RFC 5321.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=45924.0
Author: Tuxman

vim/gnuemacs script for adding timestamps to top of log files
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=45927.0
Author: Tuxman

gdpr blocking for php
Simple php snippet social commentary script that blocks users from EU ips.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=45926.0
Author: Tuxman

The Decision Sieve
Simple web based (html/js/css) utility to take a list of weighted items and remove all but the top n ranked items.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ndex.php?topic=45925
Author: Tuxman

Net Console Program Generator
Programmer's commandline tool for MS Windows, that speeds up the creation of console utilities.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46408.0
Author: kyrathaba

Huge text/Log file reader
MS Windows Utility that can be used to view huge files by loading only chunks of a file at a time.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=45921.0
Author: chesterw

Simple MS Windows utility that calculates the score of a word for the game Scrabble
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46465.0
Author: dmytron

Color Mixer
Web based (html/css/js) utility for choosing a color that is a weighted blend of two other colors.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46662.0
Author: shinkarom

Shiloh Feeding Metrics Panel
Niche use tool for MS Windows meant to aid people recovering from eating difficulties
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46752.0
Author: camerb

Drive Letter Enumeration tool
Mini tool for MS Windows that just lists all connected drives
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=45728.0
Author: KodeZwerg

Process Lister
Simple tool for MS Windows that lists the running processes
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46551.0
Author: KodeZwerg

Assignments Warlock
Simple tool for MS Windows to help a teacher create class assignments for the entire week (5 days) of classes that you teach.
Download and discuss: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=46987.0
Author: hamradio

You can show your support to the participants by sending some DonationCredits to an author whose entry you especially liked -- just click on their name and look for the link to donate to them.
Or browse the profiles of your NANY 2019 participants: here.
Or go directly to the page to send some of your donationcredits to all of the participants: here.

Living Room / What are your 2019 New Years Resolutions?
« on: January 03, 2019, 03:05 PM »
    What are your 2019 New Years Resolutions? Here are mine:

  • Major update to Find and Run Robot
  • More regular updates to Screenshot Captor.
  • Major update and merge of my Process-related applications (process tamer, process piglet, process watcher)
  • Find a couple of dc members to try to make the DonationCoder blog a must-visit page by making it more timely/relevant/active/etc.
  • A new website project.
  • Experiment with new programming languages / frameworks (cross-platform mobile?)

How about you?

Living Room / How much of the Internet is fake? Turns out, a lot of it
« on: December 28, 2018, 05:14 PM »
It's not a bug, it's a feature.. The more clicks and views (fake or not), the more money can be made from advertisers.

How much of the internet is fake? Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot. For a period of time in 2013, the Times reported this year, a full half of YouTube traffic was “bots masquerading as people,”

Living Room / How's everyone doing this year?
« on: December 22, 2018, 10:21 AM »
How are all our regular members of the site doing this year?  This is the season people can be affected by depression and loneliness.. Any site regulars need cheering up?

Living Room / Google being jerks in order to dominate the internet
« on: December 18, 2018, 07:59 AM »
From https://arstechnica....should-worry-us-all/

The company has "tried to push the Web into a Google-controlled proprietary direction to improve the performance of Google's online services when used in conjunction with Google's browser, consolidating Google's market positioning and putting everyone else at a disadvantage."

YouTube has been a particular source of problems. One example Peter provides has to do with a hidden, empty HTML element that was added to each YouTube video to disable Edge's hardware accelerated video decoding: "For no obvious reason, Google changed YouTube to add a hidden, empty HTML element that overlaid each video. This element disabled Edge's fastest, most efficient hardware accelerated video decoding. It hurt Edge's battery-life performance and took it below Chrome's. The change didn't improve Chrome's performance and didn't appear to serve any real purpose; it just hurt Edge, allowing Google to claim that Chrome's battery life was actually superior to Edge's. Microsoft asked Google if the company could remove the element, to no avail."

Slashdot's take: https://tech.slashdo...nded-the-web-over-to


Developer's Corner / Anyone used protocol buffers?
« on: December 16, 2018, 05:10 AM »
Again suggested to me by real life friend and previous DC server admin, Gothic:

Protocol Buffers, from google:

"Protocol buffers are Google's language-neutral, platform-neutral, extensible mechanism for serializing structured data – think XML, but smaller, faster, and simpler. You define how you want your data to be structured once, then you can use special generated source code to easily write and read your structured data to and from a variety of data streams and using a variety of languages."

Looks quite nice -- and lighter weight in all ways than xml.

Old dc server admin and real life friend Gothic was telling me about the open source cross-platform Godot programming game/graphics library/engine:

Anyone tried it yet? It looks pretty neat.

Screenshot - 12_16_2018 , 3_14_27 AM_thumb001.png

Looks like it good 2d support as well as 3d.

Anyone trying Flutter? (Android/ios cross platform dev tool from google)


"Google has launched Flutter 1.0, the first stable release of its open source, cross-platform UI toolkit and SDK. "Flutter lets developers share a single code base across Android and iOS apps, with a focus on speed and maintaining a native feel," reports Ars Technica... Flutter apps are written in Dart, and the SDK offers programmers nice quality-of-life benefits like the "stateful hot reload," a way to instantly make code changes appear in the emulator. For IDEs, there are plugins for Visual Studio Code, Android Studio, and IntelliJ. "

See also https://arstechnica....nt-with-flutter-1-0/

Screenshot - 12_5_2018 , 5_37_50 AM_thumb001.png

Living Room / Good video on climbing Mt Everest
« on: December 03, 2018, 05:02 PM »
One of my favorite books is Into Thin Air, about a serious tragedy on Mt Everest:

Here's a nice video talking about the logistics of climbing Mt Everest:

Official Announcements / New newsletter is up (Dec 3, 2018)
« on: December 03, 2018, 02:55 PM »
I finally got around to making a new newsletter:

BREAKING NEWS JAN 6, 2018 - Results of our Annual NANY (New Apps for the New Year) 2019 event are now posted: see here.

Super-sized Newsletter for December 3rd, 2018
"Codename: Wedding Feathers"

1. Newsletter Editorial

Hello and welcome to another edition of the DonationCoder newsletter! I'd like to briefly mention a few things before we get to the normal round-up of interesting posts on the forum.

First things first, I want to thank everyone for making our 2018 fundraiser, held in April and celebrating 13 years online, such a big success.  It's been a few years since we had a fundraiser, and I wasn't sure how it would go. In the end, we received over $13k in small donations from everyday users.  It was gratifying and humbling to see our hard work in building the new website honored with such generosity.  It made all the work feel worthwhile.  Thank you all, for not just your financial donations, but more importantly for your enthusiastic encouragement for the site and our non-traditional approach to things.  (If you missed the fundraiser, we would still appreciate your support -- just click the Donate button at the top of our web pages).

Second, I want to call your attention to the 11th annual NANY event on the site, and let you know about its upcoming deadline of January 1st to participate.  NANY stands for New Apps for the New Year, and it's where we invite coders who hang out on the site to release a new freeware application by the first day of the new year.  So if you are a coder, even just a beginner, you might consider taking the opportunity to participate.  There's nothing to win or lose, you just get a nice free mug for participating.  Even if you're not a coder, stop by the NANY 2019 section and try out some of the early releases and suggest ideas for last minute entries, and cheer on the coders who are participating.

Third, on a personal note, I got married since the last newsletter!  Thank you all for your good wishes and thoughts. I am by nature a very private person, but I wanted to share the experience with my extended family here, and I'm glad I did.  I even posted a couple of photos (see below).

Last, I wanted to give a special shout-out to a coder nicknamed "KodeZwerg" who has been programming up a storm on the Coding Snacks section of the forum lately.  His enthusiasm is contagious, and he's even been hanging out in the DonationCoder IRC chat room and making the place a bit more lively this holiday season.  So if you have an idea for a small program you'd like to see created, now might be a good time to visit the Coding Snacks section of the forum and make a request.  And if you find yourself bored at 2am just choose the Chat option from the Help menu on the website and join the late night crew for some meandering chit chat.

Signing off from Champaign, Illinois, USA,
-Jesse (mouser)

2. NANY 2019 - New Apps for the New Year - LESS THAN A MONTH LEFT TO PARTICIPATE

For the last 11 years on the site we run a friendly event called "NANY" (New Apps for the New Year), where we invite forum visitors to help us celebrate the new year by releasing a new freeware program on the first day of the new year.  We typically get a variety of entries -- some are genuinely useful tools designed to be shared widely, and some are programming exercises for new users.  All participants receive a free deluxe DonationCoder NANY Mug, and we may have some additional prizes donated by members.

If you are a coder you now have less than a month until the January 1, 2019 deadline to enter!

3. Mouser's Software Updates and Discussions

I've uploaded some updates to many of my large applications since the last newsletter.  As always, you can find the list of what's new both in the online help pages (linked from each program homepage) or in the forum thread about the application (also linked from each program homepage).  I've also released some new android apps and a bunch of miscellaneous updates.

4. Member Projects

We love to keep up with projects that our members are working on, and hearing what our forum members think of software they use.  If you're working on something interesting -- let us know!  And don't forget to check out the NANY section above, it's got tons of new software releases by members.

5. User-to-User: Your Input Requested

We love nothing more than having interesting discussions on our forum -- and we love when new people participate in the discussions.  In each newsletter we try to highlight a few topics that we think might interest casual readers and that are good candidates for making your first post.

6. Coding Snacks

The Coding Snacks Section is where people can request small utilities be coded while they wait.

7. Website Discoveries, Debates, Essays, Discussions, and Humor

What's new in cyberspace? What exciting new sites have been discovered by forum members?  What's the current hot topic and debate? Read on to find out.

8. Fun, Humor, and Entertainment

Some entertaining diversions.

9. Software Discussions

Some noteworthy software discussions on the forum since the last newsletter.

10. Developer's Corner

This section highlights some discussions that might be relevant for not just coders and developers, but also people interested in entrepreneurial issues.

Living Room / World Chase Tag - The Game of Tag as a Sport
« on: December 02, 2018, 09:53 PM »
Pretty cool actually, World Chase Tag - The Game of Tag as a Sport

N.A.N.Y. 2019 / NANY 2019 - Android App - Fasting Schedule
« on: November 27, 2018, 11:17 AM »
I plan to release 1 or 2 more "experimental" diet apps -- or perhaps more accurately, restricted eating apps.
I already have two (Feast Day Fast Day, and Feast Decreaser).

The new ones will just be me experimenting with different systems for restricted caloric intake / intermittent fasting, which has shown health benefits and increased longevity.

Living Room / Happy Thanksgiving to DonationCoder folks - 2018
« on: November 22, 2018, 07:05 PM »
Happy thanksgiving to all of you..

The holiday isn't important, but I am grateful to know all of you and I am thinking of, and toasting to, all of my friends here.

I hope you are all having a nice day and are grateful for whatever happiness and optimism you might think of.

Here's an example of one of those things that illustrates the incredibly amazing age we live in, and an example of exactly the kind of humor that makes me smile to the core of my being.
It's a multiplayer flight simulator (Flight Simulator X) where people can take on different roles, including as pilots and air traffic controllers, without rules and governed only by their own love of the protocols of the real world jobs they are performing.
They play around with the real lingo and rules, and put their own psychotic little twists on things. LOVE IT.

from https://www.metafilt...n-Flight-Simulator-X

Android Apps / Mouser Android Apps Updated 11/14/18
« on: November 14, 2018, 06:41 AM »
I've updated most of my Android apps to allow for custom independent font scaling in portrait and landscape mode.  This can make a real difference in terms of readability on phones.
You can see all (10) of my android apps on the google play store here:

143 featured us on "The 9 Safest Free Software Download Sites for Windows"  :Thmbsup:

Free software download sites can be dangerous. Visiting a bad site could end up with you smothered in fake download buttons and fake virus and malware warnings, which are usually malware in disguise... Donation Coder prides itself on providing free and clean software in exchange for nothing but donations.

N.A.N.Y. 2019 / NANY 2019 - Windows App - Process Watcher
« on: November 06, 2018, 01:34 PM »
Process Watcher - a bare bones minimal utility for watching and logging new and changed processes found running on your pc.

Process Watcher is a tool that lives down in your system tray and logs when it sees a new or changed process running on your system.

This is a very early release of what will hopefully be a more elaborate tool, but as of now it has only one purpose: To log each time it sees a new running process, or sees a new version of a previously seen running process.
When it sees a changed process, it will log what has changed (file timestamps, size, exe properties/comments).

So this utility may be useful for those who are interested in seeing what processes run on their computer in the background, or logging when a program is silently updated, etc.

You can easily view the log from the system tray menu, or simply open it in any text editor.

NOTE: It is currently for 64-bit versions of windows only, though a 32-bit version could be built if desired.

NOTE 2: This version will by default set itself to autostart with windows when you run it.  You can change this by editing the ProcessWatcher.ini file.


Not anything to get super worked up about but interesting..

The way that major browsers store history and structure links leaves them vulnerable to old school ‘sniffing’ attacks...Most modern browsers—such as Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, and even browsers such as FuzzyFox and DeterFox (different, security-focused versions of Firefox)—have vulnerabilities that allow hosts of malicious websites to extract hundreds to thousands of URLs in a user’s web history..What’s worse, the vulnerabilities are built into the way they structure links, meaning that major structural changes will have to take place in these browsers in order to protect user privacy...By embedding a special script in a web page, the actor can test how long it takes for a web page to load and infer whether you’ve visited it or not. Actors can probe 3,000 URLs per second with this method.

Screenshot - 11_5_2018 , 6_12_43 AM.png

N.A.N.Y. 2019 / NANY 2019 Rewards
« on: November 04, 2018, 04:59 AM »
This thread is to insure I don't forget some items we have to give away to NANY participants this year.

App103 has arranged a great collection of programming ebooks that we will give away.

Just making a note here in case anyone else runs into this problem.
Yesterday (Nov 1, 2018), I noticed that I could not properly log into our web server (joomla) CMS.  The problem was that some redirects in an htaccess file had stopped working.  I assumed the problem was due to a new joomla update, and ended up spending many HOURS trying to add new mod_rewrite rules in htaccess to work around the problem.  It took hours because I could not convince myself that mod_rewrite was not working correctly.  I just assumed I was making mistakes in the mod_rewrite htaccess rules, which has happened so many times since it's so finicky and obtuse.

Long story short, after about 10 hours of banging my head against the wall trying to understand why some htaccess rules were not behaving as I thought they should, and experimenting with different rules (and breaking the site continuously as I did), I tested the rules that weren't working on another web server, and they worked just fine.  That's when I realized that something was wrong with mod_rewrite.  Checking our server control panel (cpanel) I saw that apache had recently been updated to v2.4.37 only a day or so ago.  There was no more recent version and no reported bugs of the nature I was encountering, but I did notice that there were some related apache helper files that the cpanel EasyApache setup was willing to update.  After doing that everything was working again.

So this is just a heads up, and maybe especially relevant for others who have cpanel and apache -- if you are seeing misbehavior with your htaccess rewrite rules, check into whether a recent apache update (or EasyApache on cpanel) isn't the cause.

Developer's Corner / A little about the Lua scripting language
« on: October 30, 2018, 02:07 PM »
I've been experimenting a little lately with embedding Lua and Python in an app to provide better scripting features..  OSNews points today to a nice intro to what the Lua language is all about:

Lua is a scripting language developed at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) that has come to be the leading scripting language for video games worldwide.3,7 It is also used extensively in embedded devices like set-top boxes and TVs and in other applications like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Wikipedia.14 Its first version was released in 1993. The current version, Lua 5.3, was released in 2015.
The lack of built-in complex constructions and minimalist standard libraries (for portability and small size) make Lua a language that is not as good as other scripting languages for writing "quick-and-dirty" programs. Many programs in Lua need an initial phase for programmers to set up the language, as a minimal infrastructure for object-oriented programming. More often than not, Lua is embedded in a host application. Embedding demands planning and the set-up of the language is typically integrated with its embedding. Lua's economy of concepts demands from programmers a deeper understanding of what they are doing, as most constructions are explicit in the code. This explicitness also allows such deeper understanding. We trust this is a blessing, not a curse.


Living Room / Nice round up of recent new essays on computer gaming
« on: October 28, 2018, 07:22 AM »
Rock Paper Shotgun's weekly roundup of computer gaming reading is filled with some particularly interesting reading this week:


Of note is the link to a very long and  review of Red Dead Redemption 2:

N.A.N.Y. 2019 / NANY 2019 - Android App - Rating List DC
« on: October 28, 2018, 07:13 AM »
Rating List DC for Android is a simple app that lets you keep track of a list of items and your ratings of them.


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